The Swiss Soil Suitability geodata provided by GEOSTAT are derived from the digitisation and consolidation of the soil capability map of Switzerland at a scale of 1:200,000 published in 1980 by the Swiss Federal Offices for Spatial Planning, Agriculture and Forestry.
The Swiss Soil Suitability geodata were interpreted and mapped using numerous databases (maps, aerial photographs) from the 1970s at the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agriculture in Zurich-Reckenholz and digitised by the University of Bern. With the agreement of the publishers of the paper version, GEOSTAT combined the four map quadrants into a consolidated data set in 1994 and carried out a complete revision of these data in 2000. In particular, the geolocation of the data and the layout and shape of the vector boundaries were corrected based on a 1:200,000 pixel map. The data on lake boundaries and national borders, which are used as a basis for locating other routes, which have no direct physical connection with the ground, are taken from the (Vector200) file.
On the map, each map unit has a code consisting of a capital letter and a number. The capital letters represent 25 different
geological and geomorphological units. The letters are subdivided into various landscape elements, ordered by bedrock type, exposure and slope. Each map unit corresponds to one or more soil types. The 144 map units are divided on the map
into 18 groups of different colours, according to the suitability of the soil. This classification is mainly based on agricultural criteria.
Physio-geographical units of the Swiss Soil Suitability Map:
|6||Meadows, arable land, orchards
|8||Settlements with high building density|
|9||Settlements with medium building density|
|10||Settlements with low building density|
As the 1972 land use statistics was created on the basis of a very different survey methodology in relation to previous and subsequent land use surveys, and as it used its own classification with differently defined types of land use, a direct comparison and a description of trends over time is not recommended.